This is the second in a series of blog posts to help you decipher each program track at ONA15. You can sort our schedule by your own favorite track by clicking on any of the gray boxes on the main session page. You can find my breakdown of our Audience Engagement + Impact track here.

There are so many great sessions at ONA15, it can be difficult to decide which to attend! Here we’ll preview sessions specific to the Developer Tools + Tech track to help guide you. And don’t forget, for every track we’ll be hosting Table Talks, an open forum for discussing solutions to a variety of challenges in your area of interest or expertise.

Elections and Data

Ever since the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision,  the influx of dark money into political coffers has grown. Find out how reporters and developers can work together to unravel the trail in Code for Money in the 2016 Elections, led by Mother Jones’ Russ Choma and The Washington Post’s Anu Narayanswamy.

We all know elections are being shaped by the continuing shift of voter demographics. In Learning Basic Data Tools by Crunching Race and Ethnicity Numbers, 2011 MJ Bear Fellow and Al Jazeera Interactive Editor Lam Thuy Vo will walk you through basic data tools and how to apply them to census figures and beyond. Please note this is a hands-on workshop, and registration will be required. Registration will open at the end of August.

Finally, if you’d prefer a basic overview of data tools, we’ve got you covered with Command and CTRL, a command line primer for helping the beginner navigate directories, create files and get started with data tools. The session will be led by Mother Jones’ AJ Vicens, CUNY’s Jue Yang  and KPCC’s Chris Keller.

A Middle Ground for Customized Tools

Newsroom developers are continually asked to create interactive graphics late in the story development process (and by “late,” we mean the end of the story development process), and with limited resources. Rather than settle for out-of-the-box solutions with limited flexibility, we’ll explore how to work on speeding up your own processes and think outside the (tool) box in Interactive Graphics for the Newsrooms Couch Potato, featuring 2014 MJ Bear Fellow and San Francisco Chronicle Data Visualization Editor Aaron Williams, Mother Jones’ Jaeah Lee and Reveal’s Julia B. Chan.

We’ll also take a deeper dive into a popular website publishing platform for telling visually compelling long-from stories that allows developers to create customizable tools. We’ll discuss Strategies for Building Customized Tools with Tarbell, with a focus on developing useful, reusable projects on deadline. We’re particularly excited to feature Tarbell’s developer, David Eads, now with NPR, along with pro users Alex Newman and Joanna S. Kao of Al Jazeera .

A Look At What’s Ahead

As our interactions with technology become increasingly closer to our physical selves, from the keyboard to the mouse to the smartphone to the wearable, user experience is becoming more important than ever. Join McClatchy’s Damon Kiesow for a look at the underlying human computer interaction principles in UX = User + Experience,

Audio sensors and bots are increasingly used by newsrooms in a variety of unique ways. Join us for a fun, hands-on workshop on Algorithms and Arduino: How To Make A Twitter Bot With An Audio Sensor. The Los Angeles Times’ Anthony Pesce and Armand Emamdjomeh will walk through how they built an audio sensor that can tweet, and participants will be able to assemble their own and deploy it at the conference. Please note registration is required for this workshop. Registration will open in late August.

And finally, developers and reporters looking to create more immersive experiences should sign up for Create Your Own Virtual Reality Journalism, an accessible primer on developing VR and 360 videos. Emblematic Group’s Nonny de la Peña and Syracuse University’s Dan Pacheco will have the tools for creating 360 videos and VR experiences.

We hope you’ll have a chance to explore these sessions and many others, and use our amazing networking opportunities to meet colleagues who share your passions and interests.

Stay tuned for our next post, exploring the Revenue + Ethics Track, and see you in LA!